What does it take to get bone-fit? We all know the most obvious answer to that question: regular exercise. But people who excel at maintaining their physical fitness have certain habits that help them achieve and maintain their fitness goals.
Today you'll learn 12 ways to get and stay fit. Select a handful, or implement all 12 and you'll quickly see a change in the quality and efficacy of your exercise routine which will have a profoundly positive effect on the health of your bones.
1. Find A Community (Or Even Just A Friend!)
If you have trouble sticking to your workout routine, try finding a buddy, (or more than one!), to workout with. If you struggle to stay on track, you might find that the social pressure of joining someone else forces you to comply with your fitness schedule. Furthermore, for many people, having workout partners makes it more enjoyable, easier to take on new challenges and keeping an exercising schedule, which helps to achieve more goals.
This is, in part, why with SaveTrainer, our on-demand bone-building workout class platform, you’ll get access to the SaveTrainer Support Group where you can connect with other Savers and share your experiences, results, and aspirations. We included this feature so you can feel supported throughout your fitness journey.
Find a buddy, or a group, to workout with. Exercising with a friend (or a group of friends) can help you stick with it, and enjoy it more.
2. Set Goals (And Celebrate Reaching Them!)
Exercise is challenging by design. If you don't build practices to help you handle the challenge, you're less likely to keep taking it on.
Goal-setting is essential. It can break down a seemingly insurmountable endeavor into accomplishable actions. Set goals frequently, so that you always have your next success within reach. That will keep you moving forward, and building on your previous progress.
Then reward yourself for accomplishing those goals! A system of setting attainable goals, and celebrating when you achieve them creates a feedback loop of challenge, success, and celebration, that motivates you to keep going. Working out creates growth (of balance, stamina, strength, and more!) so observe that growth and allow it to positively influence your fitness habits.
Set goals to create motivation. Celebrate achieving your goals to keep that motivation positive and ever-present.
3. Be Consistent
Exercise has a cumulative effect, but not an immediate one. That means you have to stick with your workout routine over time to see results. Part of turning an activity into a habit is doing it consistently. If your participation is sporadic, then you won't ever get into the groove that makes exercising a natural part of your routine.
Part of making consistency possible is starting small and going at a manageable pace. If you overdo it on day one, then it’ll become more difficult to keep up with it. If you pick a pace that's too intense, then you might wear yourself out. Set yourself up for small successes first, so that they can keep growing.
Make your workout plan manageable and your goals attainable. That will allow you to be consistent. Consistency is essential for building a habit, so that your exercise of choice becomes a natural part of your routine.
4. Keep A Record
This habit supports the previous two. If you keep a thorough record of your workouts it will be easier to set goals, and easier to note when you accomplish them. You'll also have a way to analyze your goal-setting. Are your goals so lofty that you only accomplish them once a month or less? You can see that in your record, and adjust them so that you meet your goals more often.
A record also facilitates consistency by allowing you to see it whether it’s on paper or on an electronic device. Sometimes just knowing that missing a workout will go “in the record” is enough to motivate you to get up and get to it. And learning about your consistency over time can help you set goals for improving your consistency.
Additionally, being able to chart your improvement in a way that lets you see your progress mapped out is exciting and motivating! You can take advantage of SaveTrainer‘s Workout Stats & History feature which automatically keeps a record of all the workout classes you completed for you so you can keep your streak going.
Keeping a record will make setting and celebrating goals easier. It will also allow you to observe how consistent you are, which is information you can use to alter your routine to improve your consistency. Record-keeping is a handy tool to chart your progress.
5. Rest Days Are Essential
Your body needs time to grow and repair. Muscle growth in particular is stimulated through tears in muscle tissue. It's the repair that creates the new muscle mass that makes you stronger. That new muscle mass makes you more capable of building new bone mass, since the stress that muscles place on bone stimulates the bone-building process.
So remember to take days off to rest and that those days are productive too!
Your muscles need days off to rest and rebuild. These rest days are when the muscle growth occurs, so they aren't really days off at all.
6. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Just like it's important to take days off from your exercise routine to allow for recovery, it's essential that you get a good night's sleep. The process of rebuilding muscle (and bone) is ramped up during sleep.
Additionally, if you're tired during the day, you're less likely to start a workout, and if you do, you might lack the energy necessary to achieve the progress you’re looking for.
Growth and recovery also occur during sleep, so to grow stronger and stay fit, you need to sleep well every night. Additionally, if you’re well-rested you’ll be more likely to stick with your exercise plans and make the most out of your workout.
7. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is essential for your well-being and bone health. When you're working up a sweat, you're losing fluids. It's important that you're well hydrated before you work out so that you aren't depleting your system of the hydration it needs. It's just as important that you rehydrate after you work out to replace the fluids you lost.
Studies have shown that the dehydration of bone tissues make them easier to fracture.1 Not only do you need to hydrate to build your bones effectively, it's also essential for protecting them.
You must stay hydrated to make workouts safe and effective. Hydration is also critical for bone health.
8. Have Fun
Find the forms of physical activity that are most enjoyable to you. If you know that you don't like going to the gym, or if you find that gyms around you are closed, find an alternative. Perhaps begin walking, start doing yoga, or workout from home.
Fun is a powerful motivator and that's precisely why SaveTrainer workout classes were designed with fun in mind. Harness it to bring you closer to your fitness and bone health goals!
Find the ways of working out that are most enjoyable to you, and prioritize those activities. Having fun will make you more likely to stick with your routine and make it habitual.
9. Variety Is Key
Your body, your mind, and your health benefit from variety.
Performing a variety of exercises and activities helps to ensure that you aren't neglecting a particular muscle group, or area of your body by only doing the same limited exercises over and over again. Exercise offers a wide variety of benefits, and to access as many as possible, you should do exercises that engage your body in different ways.
Variety can also keep you engaged mentally. Excessive repetition becomes really boring! It may result in you skipping sessions because they aren't exciting or challenging. It also may result in not pushing yourself within that exercise, because you're so used to doing it the same way. When you try new exercises, you're learning and engaging your mind and memory in ways that help you stay mentally healthy as well. That's why SaveTrainer offers a wide variety of workouts, such as balance, posture, yoga, bone-strength, flexibility, and more, to spice up what can otherwise become a monotonous exercise routine.
Performing a greater variety of types of exercises provides a wider variety of benefits, since you workout different muscles and body systems. Variety also keeps you mentally engaged, and prevents you from getting bored and giving up.
10. Walk More
Seek out and create opportunities to walk more. Park at the far end of the parking lot. Decide to walk somewhere in the neighborhood instead of driving. Suggest taking a walk as a social activity. Once you get started identifying chances to walk, you'll find them everywhere.
Walking has a multitude of proven health benefits, from reducing stress, to increasing creativity, to lengthening lifespan. And of course, walking is a weight-bearing exercise, so it has a direct positive impact on bone health.2,3,4
Walking is a valuable and effective form of exercise. Seek out opportunities to walk and create them whenever you get the chance.
11. Cook At Home Whenever You Can
Cooking your own meals has enormous benefits, but you might not have considered just how much you can support your fitness by controlling what you eat. When you eat prepared foods, whether that's frozen dinners, meals from restaurants, or dishes from a local grocery or deli, you are more likely consuming far more sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats than in a home-made meal.
When you prepare your own food, you can ensure that your diet supports both fitness and bone health, by following the 80/20 pH-balanced diet described in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Home-made meals can provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to increase your fitness level.
Cooking at home gives you complete control over your diet, ensuring that you get all the nutrients you need to support your workouts and your bones. It also prevents you from consuming excess sugar, unhealthy fats, and unhealthy foods.
12. Make Your Fit Lifestyle Lifelong
Some people get trapped in a cycle of starting and stopping healthy habits because they think that once they've made it to a certain point they're done with it. Wellness is not a one-and-done deal, it's a practice that you must make a part of your daily life.
Build your habits in a way that is sustainable. Start with something small that you can accomplish consistently, and then celebrate that success. Then you build on it, and grow your goals. It's important to remember that goals aren't stopping places, they're milestones on a journey!
This way of thinking, and this practice of building habits, will allow you to make fitness a permanently integrated part of your life.
The point of all of these tips are to help you build a workout habit that lasts a lifetime, so that you stay healthy and fit. Temporary fitness goals don't serve your larger goal of good bone health, overall health, and a full life!
What This Means To You
Fitness is attainable, and it's not a race to the finish line. It's a practice that will keep you healthy and youthful if you stick with it. As Savers know, achieving fitness through an exercise routine also improves bone health by directly stimulating the growth of new bone mass.
This is so important that the Save Institute developed a first-of-its-kind an online exercise platform called SaveTrainer to make healthy fitness habits easy and fun.
Bookmark this article and check back in with this list of 12 habits in a few weeks. See how many you were able to keep up, and how they impacted your wellness. Stay active and exercise regularly!